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Peace Stories

Peace stories that others shared with me around the world.

Deepening Interfaith Peace in 2018

January 1 is designated World Peace Day by the Catholic church - a fitting day to reflect on the state of world peace, and ways that faith can guide us towards more a peaceful coexistence. It is also timely to reflect on how we can integrate peace more deeply into our souls and lives on New Year’s Day, a day traditionally devoted to personal reflection, renewal and resolutions. But peace in the modern world is not easy, intuitive, or inevitable. There are ways in which it appears to be ever more fragile, and challenging to build.

Mother of a Columbine school shooter analyses the cause (video)

Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the youth who committed murder/suicide in Cobumbine on April 20, 1999. In this transparent reflection, Sue shares, "It was appallingly easy for a 17-year-old boy to buy guns both legally and illegally without my permission or knowledge and somehow, 17 years and many school shootings later, it is still appallingly easy.”

I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned. - Gill Hicks

Gill Hicks, who survived a suicide bombing in London, used a tragedy that was meant to kill her to change her life. Gill says, “Throughout all the chaos my hand was held tightly. My face was stroked gently. What did I feel? I felt loved. What’s shaded me from hatred and wanting retribution, what’s given me the courage to say, ‘This ends with me,’ is love. I was loved. I believe the potential for widespread positive change is absolutely enormous because I know what we’re capable of. I know the brilliance of humanity.

Peace doesn't depend on circumstances - Gary's story

My friend Etienne recently travelled to Japan, a country which fascinates me but I haven't had the chance to visit. I asked Etienne to keep his eyes open for opportunities to ask people about peace. While visiting the Ueno Toshogu Shrine in Tokyo, he saw a man praying. After he finished his prayers, Etienne struck up a conversation. Learning that the man's name Gary Chan, he asked Gary what peace meant to him.

Is peace even possible? Diane's story

Returning to my table after dancing on my impromptu dance floor, an older woman sitting alone asked me where I was from. “Canada,” I replied. (I take note of greetings as I travel around the world. “Como esta (how are you)?” would be the usual Mexican greeting, but here everyone’s first question to me is where I’m from. Perhaps it’s because so many tourists visit Puerto Angel, Mexico, I’m so pale, or everyone can recognise each other in the small town.)

Inner and outer harmony - Ian Miguel's story

In my recent post, God has blessed us to bless others, I told you about meeting Ian and José Carlos on the beach while they were doing an environmental survey to track global warming. After talking for a little while about their project, I told them about my passion for peace, and the storytelling project that I was conducting around the world. When I asked Ian what peace mean to him, I was struck by the answer.

A little bit crazy, a little bit happy – José Carlos’ story

In my last post I told you about meeting José Carlos and Ian on the beach. When I asked José Carlos what peace meant to him, I didn’t fully follow the answer, so Ian translated for us. “Peace is the perfect combination of being a little bit mad and a little bit happy, he said.

Mad like angry, or mad like ‘loco’ (crazy)?, I clarified.

Mad like crazy, locito.


Flavio, the Fisherman

On my tour of Puerto Angel yesterday, I said hi to many people, who responded with smiles and greetings: women pushing baby strollers as their toddlers ran ahead laughing; women sweeping porches, men at work, or looking for passengers for their taxis; shopkeepers, youth and waiters. But yesterday I promised to tell you about Flavio, the old fisherman who was mending his net when I walked back home. I’d said “good day” to him and his two friends on the way past, but didn’t recognize him alone when I returned. I simply stopped to say hi and ask what he was doing.

Art allows a young Syrian woman to dream of a better future

This year, I went to Turkey to help World Vision International share its work with Syrian refugees at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. To understand the situation on the ground more deeply, I met with some of the refugees World Vision is helping in Ṣanliurfa, 50 km north of the Syrian border. That's where I met Lamia, who was only 15 when her family fled the war in Syria. Lamia takes art classes at the Urfa Community Centre, which World Vision supports. Art offers a powerful way for children, youth and adults to express and heal some of the trauma they've experienced in Syria.


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